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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Report: Tony Blair to Resign as Quartet Mideast Envoy

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair is reportedly set to announce plans to resign as Quartet envoy to the Middle East.

It was under Blair’s leadership that the Quartet demanded that Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization fulfill three conditions in order to receive any funding from Europe: recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce violence and terrorism, and agree to uphold agreements signed by prior Palestinian Authority governments.

Nevertheless, according to a report Sunday by the Financial Times, Blair’s role as representative to the region — recommended by then-U.S. President George W. Bush — as envoy for the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations, was always controversial.

There was no specific term limit, nor was there a clear review requirement, and caused some “consternation in Europe and the UN.”

Eight years later, various parties are still complaining although Blair’s role was limited due to restrictions on his authority. It was never clear how much control the envoy actually had in affecting events in the region he served.

“People close to Mr. Blair argue that he cannot be blamed for the failure of the peace process,” wrote the Financial Times. “They say he has invested political capital and time on an unpaid mission because he is passionate about promoting peace.”

Palestinian Authority officials in the entity’s capital in the Samaria city of Ramallah don’t agree: officials there told FT they “hope so” when asked how they’d feel about Blair resigning. Blair’s office has had no comment.

European Parliament Members Urge EU Freeze on PA Funding

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Eleven members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union to fight terrorist by freezing funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The group has sent a written declaration to the EU, urging the European body to cut its financing to organizations actively involved in promoting terror “as the best way to fight terrorism.”

German Liberal member of the European Parliament, Michael Theurer, is one of the signatories to the declaration.

The European Jewish Press reported this weekend the group has found that the Palestinian Authority and countries such as Pakistan have been financing terror via Hamas and Al Qaeda, among other groups.

“We have many indications … the Palestinian Authority [funnels] EU money towards terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda or Hamas,” Theurer said over the weekend. “With this written declaration we are urging the European Court of Justice and he European External Action service to follow up on these indications and deliver final proof so that funding can be frozen,” he said.

More than 400 Palestinian houses have been illegally built with EU assistance in Area C, the area of Judea and Samaria that was designated under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords to be under Israeli jurisdiction.

No one has addressed the issue, which has been virtually ignored by the international community until Britain’s Daily Mail publication blasted the issue on its website, complete with incriminating photos and maps.

The EU was a signatory to the Oslo Accords, along with Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the early 1990s. The document designated Area A to be totally controlled by the Palestinian Authority, Area B to be jointly controlled by the PA and Israel, and Area C to be under the total control of the State of Israel.

European Parliament Puts Off ‘Palestine’ Vote – For now

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Seemingly at the ninth hour, the European Parliament decided Tuesday to postpone its vote on whether to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign nation.

The gathering in Strasbourg decided to reconsider the issue at the European Parliament’s plenary session from December 15-18, rather than this Thursday.

Intensive work by Israeli diplomats in Brussels combined with opposition from Germany and a few other members were partly responsible for the decision.

Disagreement regarding the language of the resolution was also a factor in putting off the vote to a later time.

Similar votes are expected shortly in Portugal, Italy and Slovenia. Israeli officials have accused administration officials in the offices of U.S. President Barack Obama of fanning the flames against Israel across Europe.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that such recognition would be a “big mistake” at a joint news conference with visiting Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

“These twin needs of mutual recognition and solid security arrangements on the ground, which are so essential for peace, these are not addressed by the European countries that unilaterally give recognition to a Palestinian state,” Netanyahu said.

A similar resolution has already won approval in Britain, Spain, Ireland and Sweden.

The issue was to come before French lawmakers on Tuesday as well, but there ‘Palestine’ was expected to face a fight.

Israeli representatives in Paris have been working to mobilize the opposition against passage of any resolution approving recognition of the PA as a bona fide state.

Netanyahu had expressed deep concern on Sunday that France would make a “grave mistake” in helping the PA evade its legal responsibilities as delineated under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords to negotiate its final status with Israel.

“Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheading across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” he said.
“The State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, the only state that we have, and the Palestinians demanding a state do not want to recognize the right to have a state for the Jewish people,” Netanyahu pointed out.

Better Late Than Never – EU Condemns Arab Terror

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The morning after the first of two horrifying Arab terror attacks stole the lives of young Jews in Israel and wounded several other innocent bystanders, the European Union finally issued a statement condemning the murders – sort of.

“Today’s terrible acts of terror in Israel and the West Bank deserve strong condemnation,” read the statement sent to media via email.

“We express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased, and extend sincere wishes to the persons injured for their full and speedy recovery.”

But having made the obligatory condolences, either David Kriss himself – the press and information manager for the EU delegation to the State of Israel — or the High Representative Federica Mogherini then added a second comment.

Perhaps they just couldn’t resist the opportunity to get in an extra political dig as Israeli were grieving and Palestinian Authority Arabs were celebrating.

“As highlighted to all interlocutors during the recent visit of the High Representative in the region, we are extremely worried by the current situation that – in the absence of political perspective – can further deteriorate. We urge political leaders to act responsibly and to work for a quick de-escalation of tensions.”

One wonders precisely who the “we” in the statement is, and which “political leaders” they are referring to. What kind of “responsible actions” do they believe have been lacking and exactly how would they advise Israel to ‘work for a quick de-escalation of tensions,” pray tell?

Of course, the content of the entire statement was then carefully disavowed by the disclaimer at the end of the email:

This message is not an official communication of the European Union or its Delegation in Israel. The latter does not accept legal responsibility for its contents, unless confirmed in writing by an authorized signatory. Access is authorized only by the intended recipient(s). The recipient(s) shall respect the confidentiality of the message content. The European Union Delegation to the State of Israel accepts no responsibility with regard to any computer virus transferred by way of this e-mail.

EU Chief Says ‘Jerusalem Can And Should Be Capital of 2 States’

Monday, November 10th, 2014

The European Union’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini said this weekend that Jerusalem should be shared between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“I think Jerusalem can be and should be the capital of two states,” Mogherini told reporters.

She made the statement at a joint news conference with Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah on Saturday, according to AFP.

“Jerusalem is not just a beautiful city, the challenge is to show that Jerusalem can be shared in peace and respect,” Mogherini said.

“The message is not for the people who live here, the message is to the rest of the world. It is not a Palestinian-Israeli situation; it is a global issue.”

New EU Foreign Policy Chief Set to Visit Israel

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Although it has not yet been officially confirmed, newly-installed European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini of Italy allegedly is set to visit Israel this week for a two day visit.

Migherini, currently the foreign minister of Italy, succeeds Britain’s Catherine Ashton in the post at the EU.

She is also expected to pay a visit to Ramallah to meet with the leadership of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority unity government headed by chairman Mahmoud Abbas, also known by his terrorist name, Abu Mazen.

According to a report by the European Jewish News, Mogherini is a member of Italy’s center-left government led by prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who is reputed to be friendly towards Israel and tough on Iranian nuclear issues.

SWIFT Refuses to Suspend Israel, Russia

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has announced it will not buckle to pressure to disconnect Israel – or for that matter, Russia – from its international transaction system.

“SWIFT regrets the pressure, as well as the surrounding media speculation, both of which risk undermining the systemic character of the services that SWIFT provides its customers around the world. As a utility with a systemic global character, it has no authority to make sanctions decisions,” the group said in a statement released on Monday.

“SWIFT services are designed to facilitate its customers’ compliance with sanctions and other regulations, however SWIFT will not make unilateral decisions to disconnect institutions from its network as a result of political pressure,” the communique said.

The international Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement has been trying to pressure the system – as well as numerous corporations and other systems – to boycott Israel in an attempt to destroy its economy. BDS supporters are hoping that through economic destruction, Israel will be forced to withdraw from territory it won in the defensive war forced upon it by Arab nations in 1967 – including numerous Jerusalem neighborhoods restored to the Israeli capital since that time.

Disconnecting Israel from SWIFT would isolate its economy from international trade. However, the Brussels-based SWIFT is incorporated under Belgium law, the system noted, blocking it from making such unilateral decisions.

“Any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators. Being EU-based, SWIFT complies fully with all applicable European law,” the statement said.

Last month, the SWIFT system transmitted more than 21 million financial messages per day between more than 10,500 financial institutions and corporations, in 215 countries, according to the RT news site.

Over the summer there were discussions among EU leaders on whether to consider disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system as means of pressuring Moscow into backing away from the Ukraine conflict.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/swift-refuses-to-suspend-israel-russia/2014/10/07/

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